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Microsoft Inspire 2018 is here.

How Ready are you to be Inspired?

 

Over the past few months, the excitement has been building up in the Microsoft partner community. And there’s a good reason, too! For the first time, Microsoft Inspire and Microsoft Ready (Microsoft’s internal readiness event) are all set to take place in the similar city and during the same time.

This co-location of two of Microsoft’s largest events will help us - Microsoft partners, to learn, network and deep dive into cutting-edge Microsoft solutions that will unlock tremendous opportunities for our businesses as we help our customers reap the benefits of digital transformation. I personally believe that the incredible learning and networking opportunities at Microsoft Inspire and Ready will open our minds to new possibilities and exciting business models.

Enhance your experience at Microsoft Inspire 2018 with a well-devised plan

Opportunities at Inspire are available in abundance. For example, you can brainstorm with a program manager who drives engineering and development for some of the coolest Azure solutions. Where else can you meet some of the most brilliant minds in the technology industry, who are behind the technologies that are changing our world? But before you get ready to capitalize on the opportunities coming your way, it is more important to get ready for the event with a well-devised plan. Here are a few things that should be considered while you plan for the event.

        Set your objective: If you intend to achieve a great ROI from Microsoft Inspire, you should have a clear objective of why you are attending the event. You may have one or more than one objective, such as:

 

    Gaining in-depth insights into how the business would transform in the coming fiscal year and aligning your business plans, accordingly

    Understanding from Microsoft leadership the company’s vision or more precisely, key priorities for the coming year

    Exploring the latest technologies in the industry and how you can leverage your partnership with Microsoft to develop your business practices in these new areas

    Learning about new product announcements from Microsoft and new initiatives for partners to be launched in the coming year

    Networking with Microsoft executives and fellow partners from 150 countries across the globe

 

        Have the basics in place: No matter how senior or experienced you are, it pays to have the basics in place – an elevator pitch, for instance. You will run into people who can make a difference to your business at every step in Inspire – so make you create an impact with a pitch on what you and your business do. And don’t forget to pack plenty of business cards!

        Create a networking target list: Prepare a target list with in-depth details, including:  A. People (be it Microsoft executives or partners) you want to connect with, in addition to background details B. Companies you are looking at connecting with C. Exhibiting organizations you are planning to visit. You can always seek your PAM’s help to reach out to the right people at Microsoft, or even identify partners who can complement your business. If you’re a member of the IAMCP, then that’s a great way to connect with partners across the world. If you are not a member yet, sign up today by visiting www.iamcp.org

        Plan beforehand for your meetings: Being prepared is half the job done. One of the most valuable opportunities at Microsoft Inspire are the meeting possibilities with the corporate and product teams who play a leading role in influencing product strategy and business direction within Microsoft. Use the Connect tool to identify people whom you wish to connect with. While reaching out, it always helps to present an outline of what you are looking for from the meeting, and the value that you can bring. It will help you make these meetings more purpose-driven and impactful.

        Allot some time for area lounges and expo hall: If you aim at expanding in new markets, this is the place where you can meet and collaborate with your neighbors from a wide number of countries. Network with Microsoft representatives and your partner peers from across the world while finding out new opportunities for your organization. On the other hand, visit expo hall to meet exhibitors and sponsors displaying the latest products and solutions available in the market. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about latest innovations and stay on changing frontier of technology.

        Don’t forget to have fun! Inspire is about working hard, but also having fun. There are numerous parties every evening – great places to meet people in an informal environment and forge lasting bonds. Look out for the mother of all parties – the combined Celebration with a Grammy award winning artist performing. Who is it, you ask? Visit the Inspire website and sign in!

 

Last but not the least, keep some spare time. In an event of this scale and size, and especially since it is being co-hosted with Microsoft Ready this year, there are bound to be unexpected opportunities and developments. Throughout the conference, set your focus around the plan you have created. It will help you make the most of the conference and go back feeling informed and inspired. 

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